Let’s be real — you can only fill out the same three “Which Character from Game of Thrones Are You?” quizzes before they get old, fast. They might be fun the first time you answer them, but they don’t go very far below the surface.
At the same time, questions that look like they’re straight out of the DSM-5 wouldn’t make for much of a fun, lighthearted experience to evaluate your values and find your perfect match on campus.
For a questionnaire looking to achieve what the Marriage Pact is looking to achieve — fostering real, meaningful connections through science and technology — you have to ask questions that both get at the core of a person’s values and are interesting and fun to think about within the context of your own life.
How do you do that?
You add a little bit of ✨spice✨.
Let’s take a look at the Marriage Pact questions ranked the spiciest by our team of relationship scientists who curate the Marriage Pact questionnaire.
What does “spiciness” mean?
Katherine Luong, a researcher on the Marriage Pact questionnaire team, explained that determining a question’s spiciness oftentimes plays into a certain know-it-when-you-see-it feeling.
“We kind of look at a question and if we’re taken aback by it, if we think it’s controversial, or if it makes us go, ‘oh, wow,’ that’s a spicy question,” said Kat.
The members of the questionnaire team ranked the list of current and potential on a scale of one to five based on the question’s general importance, shareability, and, of course, spiciness.
They then met and compared their rankings of each question, using the discussion to better inform the choice of which questions, out of a few hundred, should become mainstays on the questionnaire.
One of Kat’s favorite spicy questions is a relatively (wink) new addition to the questionnaire: “I would send older relatives to a nursing home”. Part of the question’s appeal comes in its funny “bookends” — the qualitative descriptions attached to each extreme of the question’s one to seven numerical scale. This question displays “I would never” on one side, and a cheeky “sorry, Grandma” on the other.
There were a few questions that Kat personally ranked with high spice, but that ultimately didn’t make the cut, one of which was “I would get cybernetic implants.”
“I like this question…” Kat wrote in its defense. “The reasoning is sort of getting at traditionalism. Do you believe humans are meant to stay “natural”, as in, how they’ve always been, or is this kind of change a natural process of human evolution?”
Despite its intriguing premise, the question was cut due it its concept being a little extreme and likely unfamiliar to some students.
Whether it’s rooted taboo, deeply polarizing, full of contextual nuance, or just something that’s fun to think about, there are a lot of reasons why a question might be spicy. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got:
Getting lost in thought
Sometimes, a question finds its spice in how long it takes you to settle on an answer. There are many sides to the hypothetical situations you’re addressing, so figuring out where you fall on our usual scale of one to seven takes time and introspection. Maybe the real spice is the friends we made along the way (or lost, depending on how they answered the same question.)
According to our relationship scientists’ independent rankings, some of the spicier thought-provoking questions are:
It is more important to protect someone’s feelings than to tell them the truth
My partner can be “just friends” with an ex
Would you rather be left at the altar or leave someone at the altar?
If you want to read more about the nuance of this question, and how college students answered it, click here.
Some questions are spicy due to the taboo nature of what they address. Whether we’re asking about sex, substance use, or how much better you think you are than your peers, these questions aren’t exactly the ones you might want to share to your Instagram story, but they’re still important to think about. Just because you might not want to talk about them, doesn’t mean you and your match shouldn’t have a little common ground.
Some spicy questions à la taboo are:
I generally like to take control during sex
Are you smarter than most people at [insert your school here]
Who does think they’re smarter than their peers? And what does that mean within the context of the Dark Triad? What even is the Dark Triad? Click here to find out.
Ready your closing arguments
And lastly, sometimes the question’s spiciness comes from just how much of a heavy hitter it is. These possible deal-breakers are rooted in topics that are a little controversial to some and downright polarizing to others. These questions ask your opinion on known points of contention between people of different belief systems — they might not have the same creative spirit as other spicier questions, but they’re just as important when calculating high-quality matches.
Some spicy questions grounded in go big or go home deal-breakers:
Abortion should always be legal
I would end a friendship with differing political views
Which questions are the spiciest for you and your match? Have you got something hotter? DM on insta or twitter, @marriagepact.